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Tag Archives | EK Success

Noteworthy | 9.23.2011

As we enter the nice time of peacefulness as school is back in session and before the madness of the holiday season descends, the craft industry is anything but peaceful and quiet! With holiday product lines hitting shelves and new releases being unveiled, not to mention crafters gearing up for the upcoming holiday season, it’s all hands on deck!  I’ve got a full line-up of great things for you today:

Echo Park Paper unveiled their newest collection on facebook this week. “Times and Seasons” has a distinct antique flair and a great balance of muted colors and patterns. Perfect for a number of subjects, the paper line manages to be timeless and trendy all at the same time. Times & Seasons begins shipping to stores October 6th, so watch for it coming to a scrapbook store (or site) near you soon!

EK Success announced that they are partnering with Operation Christmas Cards, hoping to contribute 9,000 of the 175,000 cards the organization hopes to send to US and Canadian troops deployed overseas. According to the announcement, for approximately half of the card recipients this will be the only holiday correspondence they will get:

All of EK Success Brands’ four office locations—Chicago, Clifton, NJ, Kansas City and Wyomissing, PA—will host office events for employees to take part in the card making, as well as sponsoring a local school in each city with supplies to create and collect cards.

Ready to jump in and help? We have a FREE, self-paced online class available NOW if you want to learn a few new techniques in card making or just get some inspiration

The free class is through spottedcanary.com, and according to the site you will learn several techniques and is video-based broken down into short segments. You can read the whole EK Success post here, and you can check out Operation Christmas Card directly at their facebook page.

Continue Reading →

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CHA Summer 2011 | EK Success: Martha Stewart, Jolee’s, K&Company, Inkadinkado, EK Tools, and Smash Books

EK Success, the umbrella company for a number of popular scrapbooking brands including Martha Stewart, Jolee’s, and K & Company (just to name a few), displayed all of their new products as well as returning back catalog items in one massive booth at the CHA Summer 2011 show.

The Martha Stewart Crafts display was the first part of EK Success’ booth to catch my eye, thanks in part to this display of the new “Modern Damask” papers. I had May Flaum’s recent Scrapbook Update article highlighting the color plum on the brain, and the purples in many of the papers and embellishments in this line certainly fit that trend!

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Martha Stewart Crafts also offers baker’s twine (another hot industry trend) in several colors. These have been available for quite a while on smaller spools, and it’s nice to see them in a larger package.

DIY parties are a hot trend due to the economy, and this lovely display of DIY party ideas attracted a lot of attention over the course of the show!

Martha Stewart Crafts’ new Christmas lineup was also on display in the EK Success booth, and it featured a range of new stickers, ribbons, buttons, glitter, stamps, and paper.

The lovely gray snowflake print in this paper pad immediately pulled me in!

Martha Stewart Crafts is also debuting a more traditional Christmas paper pad, as well.

Snowflakes, a major staple of Martha’s 2010 Christmas line of stamps and punches, are back in a big way with new stamps and a lacy snowflake border punch thrown into the mix.

A whole new lineup of decorations and DIY party items is also being introduced for the Christmas season. It’s always a treat to see what new designs will be in this seasonal line!

The Jolee’s Boutique brand has practically reinvented itself in recent releases, coming up with a massive range of relevant and usable embellishment stickers covering a variety of papercrafting themes.

Their Christmas and winter lineup is simply lovely, featuring everything from snowflakes to Santa.

Jolee’s “Around the World” line takes crafters on a jaunt through such locations and England and France and features icons such as Union Jacks and Fleur de Lis, among many, many others. (Scrapbook Update’s Anglophile editor Nancy Nally totally flipped for the floral Union Jack icons below!)

The “Steampunk” line from Jolee’s Boutique puts a feminine and fanciful spin on the genre.

Colorful birds, gears, butterflies, and hot air balloons are just a few of the whimsical options to be found here.

The sample projects in the Jolee’s section of the EK Success booth did not disappoint!

K & Company is yet another scrapbooking manufacturer that opted to release both a bright and a traditional Christmas collection at this CHA show. “Secret Santa” contains the bright pink that’s been so popular lately with nontraditional lines, while designers Elizabeth Brownd (product not pictured) and Susan Winget submitted more traditional red and green collections.

EK Success’ stamp line, Inkadinkado, was present in a big way and showed off dozens of Christmas and holiday stamp designs in both clear and cling mount formats. Some are back catalog items (in fact, I recognize a few that I have in my own collection) while others are new releases for the show.

EK Success is also making some additions to its popular line of punches under the EK Tools brand. Snowflakes are a popular theme here, as well, along with many other Christmas and winter icons.

Smash books are a K & Company brand, but they’re so popular that I felt they deserved their own section on this tour (they actually had their own section of the booth, as well).

Smash fans will already recognize many of the items on display…

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…but K & Company is also releasing a new travel version of their popular books!

Mini Smash journals are new for this release, as well.

We’re nearing the end of our massive CHA coverage with only a scattering of booths left to cover. Stay tuned for more to come!

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3

CHA Summer 2011 | American Crafts, Webster’s Pages, and Fancy Pants

Want more booth photos? Yes? I hope so, because I have plenty more to share with you today as we check out the offerings of American Crafts, Webster’s Pages, and Fancy Pants.

Design powerhouse American Crafts had a massive booth, and introduced several new lines at CHA Summer 2011.

Their popular line of albums got a refresh with some new designs added in with the old standbys.

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Popular fashion designer and scrapbooker to the stars Amy Tan made a huge splash with her new signature line called “Amy Tangerine”, generating lots of buzz both on and off the show floor.

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I love all the Thickers in her new lines, especially these with faux stitching drawn around the edges – so cute!

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American Crafts is known for certain signature embellishments (such as Thickers), and their Mixtapes are fast becoming one of those staples. The “Amy Tangerine” line features several new styles and patterns of this washi-style tape.

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Amy’s line is also bursting with extras such as clear stamps, ephemera, and letter stickers.

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American Crafts’ “Daydreams” line is a fun, feminine collection that sports a bright color palette and funky bold designs.

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The Thickers in this line are smaller than the normal letters that American Crafts produces, making this lover of tiny alpha stickers very happy indeed!

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“Night Fall” is American Crafts Halloween/Fall offering. There are only a few strictly Halloween themed papers in this line, and even those sheets have “B” sides that are neutral enough to use for general fall pages.

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“Hollyday” puts American Crafts’ signature graphic spin on a red, green, and silver color palette. Clean lines and mod designs make this a fun and cheerful collection!

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These candy cane striped Thickers are simply genius!!

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American Crafts also offers Christmas patterns in their popular Pow! glitter paper, famous for sparkly stuff that never flakes off.

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The “Garden Cafe” line, with its punchy flowers offset by deep browns, has a funky retro vibe about it.

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“Margarita” was American Crafts’ mid-season summer themed release and features all the bright, vibrant colors associated with the season.

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Webster’s Pages is known for their elegant designs both on paper and in their embellishments.

The “Western Romance” line features a soft country look filled with feminine touches such as painted cowgirl boots and flower covered mailboxes.

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Webster’s Pages is also known for innovative embellishments like these delicate feather flowers.

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The brightly colored “Let’s Celebrate” line would be perfect for scrapping birthdays.

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Webster’s Pages’ “All About Me” line features a pleasing color palette that will “play” well with many different types of photos and layout subjects. With its mix of pleasing patterns and gorgeous illustrations of every day (and some not so every day) objects, I could see this being a great candidate for use in a “Week in the Life” album.

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Webster’s introduced not one, but two Christmas lines at this CHA show! “Winter Fairy Tales” is filled with fanciful scenes and a soft color palette, while “Botanical Christmas” features bolder colors and a more traditional Christmas theme.

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Let’s round out this portion of our CHA Summer 2011 tour by stopping in at the Fancy Pants booth!

Fancy Pants’ new lines featured some of the most creative color combinations that I saw anywhere at the show. For instance their Christmas line, “Saint Nick”, has a mostly traditional color palette but adds a light shade of purple to just a few prints for added contrast and interest.

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Their fall line, “Summer’s End”, has the oranges and browns that you’d expect from a seasonal fall line but also includes a punchy shade of blue-green for an unexpected twist.

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And “Oct. 31st”, Fancy Pants’ Halloween line? It includes a bit of bright blue amongst the orange and purple! Not to mention all the lush damask prints scattered throughout.

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This piece of paper was my absolute favorite of the whole booth – it totally appealed to the geeky engineer in me!

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Fancy Pants was also one of the few companies offering a strictly “back-to-school” line. “Off to School” has been getting a lot of buzz on the blogs lately, and I predict that it will be a big seller this fall.

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Fancy Pants’ Brag Books were actually released at the Winter CHA show, but with the huge success of EK Success’s Smash books they were smart to bring them back to the summer show. Fancy Pants’ version of the blank journal trend is less decorative than the EK Success version, giving the scrapper full creative control over the final look of their project.

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Have you all been making your post-CHA shopping lists as you read these booth tour posts? I know I’ve been making mine as I write them! Don’t finalize that list just yet, though, because there’s so much more to come!

Want to stay up-to-date on all the latest scrapbook news?

5

Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks

Many thanks to Contributing Editor May Flaum, who contributed extensively to the creation of this article.

Here it is finally…the Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks!

For those new to Scrapbook Update, our CHA Top Ten Hot Picks list are our picks for the products and companies that we saw at CHA that are sure-fire winners, heavily buzzed-about, or groundbreaking in some way.

Making the selections this time around took a long time because it was surprisingly difficult, much more difficult than it usually is after a CHA show. As we discussed on the Roundtable show at CHA, the show felt somewhat muted. There wasn’t a lot of buzz about very many things. The choices weren’t as obvious as after a lot of CHA shows when the air is just electric with excitement about things.

Also, some of the clear standouts were companies that have been heavily featured on recent Top Ten Hot Picks lists from CHA shows. We didn’t want to sound like a broken record, but we also didn’t want to penalize companies who have been consistently on top of the industry lately.

Ultimately, we came up with a great list of products, and it is full of a lot of familiar names. I think that says something about where the industry is right now: We have some companies that are simply dominating certain categories of products from both a market and quality standpoint.

So let’s take a look (in no particular order) at who and what made the Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks list!

Tim Holtz

Ok, let’s just get the obvious one out of the way…Nowhere on the show floor are the crowds bigger (except for the big Provo Craft giveaways) than for anything that Tim Holtz does. He is the arguably the most marketable name in scrapbooking right now, with his name on products by Advantus, Ranger, Sizzix, Stampers Anonymous, Core’dinations, and Tonic Studios.

Tim’s workshops have sold out almost immediately at all of the recent CHA shows and this time was no exception. On the show floor, his demos were always surrounded by huge crowds.

Holtz’s products sales are spurred by his marketability and gift for teaching, but also by his brilliant market placement: he exists in an area between mixed media and scrapbooking, enabling him to reach an audience in both markets. His booth displays always contain a mix of everything from scrapbook layouts (including some at CHA Winter 2011 by Scrapbook Update’s own Contributing Editor May Flaum) to shadow boxes and jewelry and other three dimensional decor items.

Perhaps the flagship introduction of the new Tim Holtz products at CHA Winter 2011 was the Distress Stain, a whole new category of Distress colorant from Ranger. Available in 12 Distress palette colors, the Distress Stain comes in 1 oz bottles with a dabber top, similar to walnut ink many scrappers and stampers may have used. Distress Stain is a water-based dye that soaks into porous surfaces like paper. It’s not blendable like the Distress Ink pads are. In CHA demos, Holtz showed its usability for covering large areas (like a tag background) with color and for creating soft ink effects, like a watercolor look, with stamping.

Two of the other new Tim Holtz items at CHA Winter 2011 that look destined to be extremely popular with consumers are his new Kraft Glassine paper (pictured in use with an embossing folder above) and the Core’dinations Distress cardstock pad (photo below shows Tim demonstrating the monochromatic contrast between the outside and the inner core).

His two new patterned paper pads, including one that is kraft colored with resist ink designs on the pages, will also be wildly popular. But in reality, I expect most of his product lines from this show to be top sellers, with a few exceptions.

Core’dinations

Speaking of Core’dinations, it isn’t just their Tim Holtz products that attracted a lot of attention at CHA Winter 2011. This company has been lining up licensing arrangements right and left, taking part in one of the industry’s hottest business trends, and their introductions in Los Angeles were their best to date.

In addition to the Distress and Adirondack pads, they introduced pads for Graphic 45, BasicGrey, and a host of other companies. Perhaps most amazing were the Core D’Amour collections of papers designed by Teresa Collins and Jenni Bowlin. Those papers featured both embossed and printed design elements, with the contrasting color core for distressing. The result is absolutely beautiful. Photos don’t do the depth of the effect justice (a close-up of one of the Jenni Bowlin papers is below).

With all their licensing arrangments, Core’dinations is bringing a lot of design punch to what used to be a boring scrapbooking staple. In the words of Contributing Editor May Flaum, “They’ve made cardstock sexy!”

Cosmo Cricket Glubers

This is one product that I knew instantly when I saw it would be a hot pick! It was one of the few items I heard buzz about in Los Angeles.

Like most of the best ideas, the idea behind Glubers is deceptively simple: it is a giant round dot of adhesive. The brilliance is in the application of that giant dot of adhesive. Cosmo Cricket is marketing Glubers (available in packages of 12 for $4.99 and multiple sizes from 2″ to 3″) as the basis for creating custom fabric flower embellishments, a look that is currently extremely trendy. Booth samples showed fabric, ribbon and other items being used to create large decorative flowers.

Uniformed Scrapbooks of America

There is a huge market for military scrapbooking supplies, but there tends to be little innovation in that market. Heather and Charles Lovern have brought something new with Uniformed Scrapbooks of America, a new exhibitor at CHA Winter 2011 that sells scrapbooks that have covers that appear as if they are made out of a military uniform shirt.

The product was originated when Heather decided to make a scrapbook for her ex-Marine husband, Charles. She sewed a cover for the scrapbook out of one of his uniform shirts…and a new product line was born. The company is licensed by the US Armed Forces. In addition to the album covers, the company also sells customizable embroidered name tapes that adhere to the album cover “shirts” in the appropriate places, and rank insignia to adhere to the shirt collars.

Something fresh like this should be a big hit in communities with a lot of military families who are sick of the same old, same old in military themed scrapbook offerings.

Technique Tuesday

This company revamped their entire offerings for CHA Winter 2011, with dramatic results. Technique Tuesday eliminated virtually all of their alphabet stamp designs from their catalog, and redesigned their packaging to be much smaller. Instead of being packaged on 8.5 x 11 storage sheets, sets are now packaged on 4 x 6 sheets. This will mean stores will need to devote less display space to sell the products. Technique Tuesday has also lowered their price points, important to be more competitive in a market that is flooded with clear stamp designs.

Balancing the shrinking of their alphabet catalog, Technique Tuesday unveiled a large expansion at CHA Winter 2011 of their most popular offerings: their Ali Edwards signature collection. The five new mini sets of sentiments in Edwards’ distinctive handwriting, with an MSRP of $2.99 each (one is pictured above), will certainly be popular. Love, travel and other theme sets round out the stamp set offerings. The company also introduced new paper designs by Edwards in its Perspectives collection.

The company also expanded their popular class kit offerings, including offering a new kit that capitalizes on the trend towards large dimensional flowers in scrapbooking. The “In Bloom” by Technique Tuesday class kit creates 9 flowers and can be taught over one or two class sessions.

Bella Blvd: Sophisticates by Stephanie

Since its inception, Bella Blvd has consistently provided scrapbookers a bright, cheery look without going 100% over into the cute style dominated by companies like Doodlebug and BoBunny. Existing in a middle ground has allowed the company to draw from a wide range of scrapbook customers.

The new Sophisticates by Stephanie collection introduced at CHA Winter 2011 will certainly continue that wide appeal. Consisting of 11 monochromatic patterned papers, 4 embellishment papers, cardstock alphabet stickers, and chipboard alphabets & embellishments, the collection provides good usable basics in Bella’s signature happy color palette.

Bella Blvd is now including their Blooms a Bella flower embellishments as part of the Sophisticates collection, and introduced a new, smaller, size with buttons in the center to the collection.

Jenni Bowlin

Jenni Bowlin showcased an all-star line up of releases at CHA Winter 2011. At the last show she partnered with Ranger and released high quality inks and paint dabbers, and now she’s returned with even more amazing designs and all new products that all vintage loving paper crafters will need. While she has a new paper line, the real star of the show is all of the trinkets and treasures she released that mix so well with any of her current or past products – and that will also appeal to the growing group of papercrafters who are dabbling in mixed media projects. The hidden genius in this release is how simple it is. Packages of little rosette ribbons, colored plastic bows with rhinestones, additions to her Core’dinations cardstock collection, and trend-forward silhouette rub-ons are only a few of the things coming from Jenni this year.

Bowlin is expanding her usual array of goods that go so well with card making, scrapbooking, and altered arts by also adding vintage inspired tins (shown above – projects above and below by Ranjini Malhotra for Jenni Bowlin Studios), as well as vintage inspired wooden thread spools (shown below). These items have any number of uses for home décor and mixed media work. They are fresh additions to the market as well as simple enough to be user friendly.

For those who aren’t into altered items, Jenni has released more of her popular bingo cards. She is also introducing three Hodge Podge mini books that work as a mini book, or can be taken apart and used in other paper craft projects. The materials featured vary from board book to transparency, and they include brass rings to bind them together.

Bowlin now also offers some stamps, as well as more chipboard shapes, flag banner stickers, and even some rhinestone charms. It is obvious that Jenni Bowlin Studio has put time and effort into a release that should be a winner with consumers. These products build on her existing line of products, complementing and adding new dimension to them while at the same time they’re fresh, new, and must-have items.

EK Success Smash Books

These were one of the most buzzed-about items at the show (if not the most buzzed about, period). These fun journals are designed more in the style of “old-fashioned” scrapbooking – to capture the random scraps of our lives – but are very modern in design.

In addition to the four spiral-bound journal designs (which come with a double-ended ink/glue pen), the Smash line includes accessories like date/phrase stamps, page markers, decorative tape and paperclips. The Smash book pages are heavily designed – this product is obviously intended for a young (or at least hip) audience. This isn’t your grandma’s scrapbook!

We R Memory Keepers Lucky 8 Punches

At CHA Summer 2010, We R Memory Keepers caused a buzz with the Sew Easy tool. This time around it was the Lucky 8 border punches that had everyone talking. This company is quickly becoming the company for tool innovation in the scrapbook industry.

The Lucky 8 punches, available in 6 designs, turn any sheet of 12 x 12 paper into die cut paper. Since the punches can cut an outer edge design, an inner edge design, or both designs at once, they can create three different effects from the same punch. Additional effects can be created by punching fewer than the 8 punches needed to do the entire outer edge of a sheet of paper, to create a partial die cut effect (for instance, just doing opposite corners with the inside cut design).

The Lucky 8 punches have an MSRP of $29.99 each, but compared to buying die cut paper at $3/sheet, the savings of using the punch can add up quickly.

Webster’s Pages

They’ve been reliably producing beautiful vintage collections for several shows now, but this time Webster’s Pages hit every note just right with their five new collections. In particular, their new Trendsetter collection is very eye-catching, calling on a more modern period for its look than most of Webster’s collections while still echoing their romantic look.

In particular, some of the collection’s smaller patterns and its embellishments seem to be very usable – even for scrapbookers who aren’t necessarily into Webster’s signature flowery look. Trendsetter may bring a new audience to Webster’s Pages with its more modern, yet still classic, look.

With designs containing butterflies, dress forms, birdcages, and silhouette portraits, Trendsetter’s name is very accurate. It hits on many of the most prevalent trends on the CHA Winter 2011 show floor, while presenting them with Webster’s Pages own signature style.

Want to stay up-to-date on all the latest scrapbook news?

39

[Giveaway] Happy Halloween from K & Company!

One lucky Scrapbook Update reader could win some Halloween treats from K & Company’s Tim Coffey collection – with a few bonus treats from Martha Stewart Crafts thrown in too! You’ll have everything you need to scrap this year’s festivities (and a few things to tuck away for next year’s decorating).

Here’s a great close up look at the specialty paper pad (which is hiding in the back of the picture up above):

Giveaway package contains:

Many thanks to K & Company and Martha Stewart Crafts for graciously sharing this giveaway with Scrapbook Update’s readers. [Disclosure: Wilton Brands, the parent of K & Company and EK Success (which licenses the Martha Stewart Crafts brand), is an advertiser at Scrapbook Update through their Scrapbook Design and You program.]

How To Enter: All you have to do to be one of the lucky winners is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time on Tuesday night, November 2nd. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. U.S. mailing addresses only please.

Need holiday card or gift ideas?

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Positions Available: EK Success Brands Inside Sales

EK Success Brands Inside Sales: New Jersey

EK Success Brands, a division of Wilton Brands Inc. and a creative consumer products company has an immediate and exciting opportunity for an energetic and driven Inside Sales Representative.

Responsibilities include:

  • Contact assigned territory customer base for orders as well as established new business
  • Manage your own territory and grow sales volume through tele-sales, heavy liaison between the customers and the various internal departments.
  • Communicate price and product features and benefits.
  • This position relies heavily on phone sales.

Requirements:

  • AA or BA degree with 3-5 years inside sales/prospecting experience is preferred
  • Must be computer literate with MS Office products
  • Desire to meet and exceed clients needs and expectation is a must
  • Must have strong communication skills with demonstrated ability to work independently and problem solve
  • Exceptional time management skills a must
  • Interest in crafts &/or scrapbooking a big plus

*Please note that Scrapbook Update is in no way associated with the companies and the positions listed here.  Please forward all questions or comments about the job listings to the offering organization via the links provided with this article.  Thanks!

May’s Product Picks: Stars

When I think about shapes commonly found in scrapbook supplies, one of the most universal that comes to mind is stars. They can work on pages for boys or girls, vacations or special events, and with any color, size, or materials you want to use. Whether you’re focusing on a future star, an all-star, or whether it’s a patriotic symbol to you – there certainly is plenty of product to choose from.

What I really appreciate is how many companies are coming out with useful products that can be used on anything from county fair to picnic to just because layouts, and everything in between. Today I’d like to share some recent favorite finds that feature one of my favorite scrapbooking shapes: stars!

We R Memory Keepers has a great line called “Old Glory” that looks especially useful. I like the paper pad available for the line (shown above).

I also think the embellishments like this glitter lace would be easy to use – and so fun.

Bo Bunny has a fun new line called Block Party that is filled with warm colors and star-spangled inspiration.

If you search digital sites, you’re bound to find all kinds of fun things. One of my favorites has to be these star flourish brushes by Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals.

EK Success has a photo corner punch with star cut-outs that looks like a lot of fun.

Last but not least, Pink Paislee has a collection called Starlight that is filled with stars and potential. I especially love the sticker sheet, but really it’s all fantastic to use. Here is a layout I created with it:

I am having so much fun with this line, I picked up extra at my local store! I really like the yellow and all the different blues in the Starlight line because it lets me expand the subjects I can use it on that much farther. Not to mention it has one of the best sticker sheets I’ve had the pleasure to utilize in a long while. Every piece is wonderful!

Supplies: Pink Paislee patterned paper, sticker sheet, and letters; Ranger enamel accents (white);  American Crafts pen; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L EZ-Runner

If you have a favorite star product, or use for stars in your scrapbooking, please feel free to share!

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11

Paperclipping Roundtable #25: Jen McGuire Gets Her Fix

Want to know how to use those older products you have laying around? Noell & I talked with Jen McGuire and Ana Cabrera about how to make everything old new again on this week’s Roundtable!

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Show Notes:

This episode of Roundtable is sponsored by Big Picture Scrapbooking! Click here for a promo code for Paperclipping Roundtable listeners to use to save 10% on any class at Big Picture Scrapbooking!

The Panel

Picks of the Week

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